BMW uses smartwatch app for auto parking system

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BMW has unveiled a laser-guided automatic parking system that is triggered by the car’s driver issuing a voice command into a smartwatch.

The Remote Valet Parking Assistant system has been developed using a modified research version of the company’s electric i3 city car. The system will be officially unveiled at the CES consumer electronics show in Las Vegas in January.

The breakthrough allows the driver to exit the car and activate the system through a smartwatch app allowing the car to scan the available space and autonomously park itself.

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The app represents perhaps the most practical and commercial implementation of smartwatch functionality to date.

The system uses four laser scanners to not only map the available parking space down to the millimetre but also to scan multi-storey parking garages floor-by floor detecting obstacles such as improperly parked vehicles and pedestrians until it detects an available space.

Remote Valet Parking Assistant has been developed in conjunction with German company Continental and does not require any modifications be made to garages. BMW has not stated when the complete system will be available on its cars but stated that elements, such as automatic braking to avoid collision during parking manoeuvres will be released in the foreseeable future.

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